Sozzi: Walmart's Buried Treasure Discovered
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Walmart
Here is the buried treasure I have discovered on Walmart, developments that have been lost in the sauce but, theoretically, are still receiving attention by the executive team and less senior workers.
OCTOBER 2012: INVESTOR DAY
Development: Walmart commits to investing $6 billion in lower prices through 2017 ($2 billion through 2014), mostly in food and consumables.
What has happened since: U.S. same-store sales were negative in each month of 2013, indicating that: (1) Walmart has not lowered prices enough in the real-time price discovery market that is online and Amazon
JANUARY 2011: EVENT IN WASHINGTON WITH FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA
Development: Walmart announces the reformation of thousands of everyday packaged food items by 2015. Sodium is outlined to be curtailed by 25%, non-natural sugars by 10%, and trans fats banished. Moreover, Walmart stressed its laser focus on filling in food desserts (or low income areas that don't have access to fresh food).
What has happened since: Not sure- Walmart's gross margin hasn't exactly jumped as you would have anticipated if suppliers are re-doing product ingredients to include less of a specific item, with Walmart knowing full well and driving a harder line at the negotiating table. On the other hand, Walmart is executing on its food dessert promise by opening Neighborhood Markets averaging 38,000 square feet in closed supermarkets across the country.
OCTOBER 2013: INVESTOR DAY
Development: Management shares that 300 or so Walmart stores in the U.S. are producing negative same-store sales of around 7%.
What has happened since: No updates have been provided on the status of these laggard stores. I continue to expect Walmart to announce a store closure plan this year related to its large pool of underperforming locations. Note that Target will have closed seven stores by August of this year.